The Free Motion Quilting Project: Piecing Again...

Friday, January 8, 2010

Piecing Again...

For some strange reason I can't really understand I'm wanting to piece another quilt.

I have at least 20 quilt tops sitting around the house ready to be quilted. So why am I wanting to start yet another project???

Well admittedly, this quilt is really cool! The fabric is a Robert Kauffman Bali Pop in Cappuccino.

I can't decide which way to set it up. I can have it go from light to dark like this:

free motion quilting | Leah Day

Or Dark to Light:
free motion quilting | Leah DaySo obviously this is an awesome quilt (I call it the Coffee Quilt) and I really love it already, but why do I need to start another project right now!?

Does anyone else do this - piece quilt after quilt as interest demands, but never actually finishes the whole project?

Yeah, that's probably an obvious answer. I know I'm not the only one.

I love the quilting process, but a combination of factors are making me hesitant to baste up and mark any quilts. When I feel blocked from quilting my default is to piece, piece, piece.

Creating something new always feels better that going back to finish something later.

So what are these mysterious factors?

Well, pardon me for a moment while I do some serious complaining. Sorry, I do this rarely on the blog, but I'm really feeling stuck in a rut and need some super quilter help to get out of it.

For one thing I keep waiting and waiting for my stencils to get done and it feels like they're NEVER going to get finished. I know it takes time, but I've been waiting since October.

Should I just forget about the stencils and mark my quilts the old lightbox and paper, tedious and time consuming way?

I'm also getting really pumped about the lecture in Concord, but it's only 2 days away and I'm in that weird place where I don't want to work on anything because it'll distract me from the lecture, but I do want to be working because I really SHOULD BE QUILTING ALL THESE QUILT TOPS!

To add icing on the cake, I can't decide which quilt tops I'm going to feature in the beginner dvd and I don't want to start working on one and wish I'd filmed it. Blah!

Maybe I just need a good kick in the pants! Come on everybody - tell me to stop piecing and JUST GO QUILT!

Ha! If I followed my own advice I'd have more quilts finished.

I'm off to bed. Tomorrow will be a better day: I will gather up all of the quilts from around the house, prepare for the lecture, and I WILL baste at least 1 quilt. I swear.



  1. Ok...we know the quilting part is important and can really make or break a quilt but come one....color, pattern, the feel of the little pieces of's like coloring with crayons....awesome!!:)

    Bye the way...I like the second picture...dark to light....looks like the cross section of a tree and I love trees!:)

  2. Sometimes, when the stress is high, you just have to follow your heart's desire, and PIECE!!! It's not like the quilting that needs to be done won't still be there when the new project is pieced!

  3. I know how you feel -- being stuck and dithering happens to all of us. People get blocked because of all sorts of reasons, but the most common are fear and uncertainty. It sounds like your main issue with quilting your tops is uncertainty -- you don't know what to do next. Should you wait for a stencil or mark the quilt without stencils? Since you haven't yet made that decision, you put the quilting aside and start piecing. So what would help you make that decision? Do you need more information (like an estimate on the stencil completion)? Maybe it would help to draw up a list of pros and cons.

    On the other hand, it sounds like the lecture prep is the most important task at the moment. Are you using the piecing to avoid preparing for your lecture? It sounded from your previous post like you were a little anxious about the lecture -- maybe the piecing is a way of avoiding your anxiety. If so, it might help to understand what is making you anxious and to try to reduce your anxiety.

    If it helps at all, I can say that whatever you decide and whatever you do, it will all turn out fine! The quilts can wait, the lecture will go well, and you are allowed to make whatever choices work best for you. Good luck and have fun!

  4. Good luck on the finishing of projects. I'm not so great at it either.

    I like your new one - darks on the outside.

  5. I love this post!! I have made a commitment to work on at least 10 projects that I have on the go right now, and what am I doing tonight??? Looking through my project binder of things I want to start!!!
    I know what you mean, when you are itching to take your mind off what you know you should be doing.....
    Thanks for the smiles!! I am glad that I am not the only one who wants some fun distraction to take them away for awhile.......

  6. You can do it. We've all been there. Tomorrow will be better. ;-)

  7. Sometimes joy if found in starting somehing new. Once your heart is happy once again you will be back in the quilting mood. I say piece, piece,piece until your ready to quilt, quilt, quilt, quilt. After all, isn't quilting all about making your heart happy? Just have fun; life is short so you better enjoy the ride! B=)

  8. I think we all go through those little ruts when we are on task, but off task at the same time. Perhaps your mind needs a break in order to get ready for the lecture. Either way, I am sure that you will be back on track and inspiring us with your quilting prowess very soon!

  9. Personally, I have always found the last few days 9Maybe a week) before a new class, workshop etc to be very unsettled, and sometimes found myself volunteering to wash dishes, or cleaning the bathroom! Even if it didn't need it!
    Anything other than what I wanted to do, or even should have been doing ...... well, other than washing those dishes before they fell off the sink!
    Judy B

  10. PS
    I had another look at the quilt in question, how about turning the strips around and putting them across the quilt ...... and fading from dark to light, then dark, light to dark again.
    Sorry, that probably doesn't help make up your mind at all!
    Judy B again

  11. I am more of a piecer than a quilter, like a lot of us. Our mini-group has issued a personal challenge and we made a list of our UFOs and will see how many we can finish by the end of the year. Perhaps you could do this too as it is easier to look at only one "job" at a time and it feels really good to be able to cross something off of the list. I will mostly be "quilting by checkbook" again!

  12. I really like the dark on the outside light in the middle, but it also does remind me a lot more of your embrace your light quilt. If you want variety go with light on outside, but either way you decide to piece the coffee quilt will look good.

    I am sitting here waiting for someone to fall asleep so I can get started working on something instead of sitting on the computer. Most of my sewing time is on the computer it seems, so I have to "get my butt in the chair" as Allison Lee of CraftCast says. Today's the day I finish my quilt (or at least start on the binding).

    Good luck on your trunk show. I know how it is when you talk to a group in person compared to over the internet. I think you'll do great and I can't wait for you to come back and tell us all about it!

  13. The reason we like to start a new quilt is because we are inspired. It is the spark of inspiration we are responding to. I think it is our connection with the Universe, the Divine Source, whatever you want to call it. Don't fight it, by any means. Throw out the shoulds! However, that said, if you have a goal and are inspired by your goal, finishing a quilt may be part of that process. Instead of worrying about making the "wrong" choice, just make a choice. Thank you for your blog and all your inspiration! Have a great day!

  14. Leah,

    It sounds to me like your mind needs a break. I say, have fun. Let you mind work it out while you relax. That's what writer types tend to do (or should, anyway).

  15. Consider your self kicked, get your butt out of that chaire and get on !!!!!

    I am afraid you are not alone.....I have at least 5 tops waiting to be quilted and have the urge to start another top, hoever I need a handle holder for the woodburner, so I am going to satisfy myself with making that.

  16. Leah, keep in mind that the more quilted and beautiful quilts you share with your public the more they are apt to buy your products. So get onn the ball and start quilting.

  17. I think that having it with the light in the middle is my favorite...

  18. Leah, you are obviously a very creative person. As a person probably twice your age, let me speak from my experience. In your mind, the quilts you have stacked in closets and drawers are essentially finished - you can "see" what they are going to look like already, and you don't "need" them so there they sit. Meanwhile, your creative brain wants to explore something new. So if you can afford it, go for the new project. The day you "need" one of those quilts in the closet, you will finish it, much like, after you've been saying "I should clean the closet" one day you look and say "Oh there's mildew" and out come the cleaning supplies. And you'll be happy. (if this posts twice sorry - we're having power fluctuations this morning and I don't know if it took.) Cheryl K.

  19. lol! Welcome to our world, the one where we get stuck at the "quilt as desired" stage. The decisions about what to mark, what goes where and then the labour and time it takes to get a quilt basted is one hurdle after another. Piecing gives us a quick hit of creativity so it's always easy to move to it - you can do it in quick bits and get satisfaction with small amounts of effort. Let yourself off the hook - you're human!

  20. Leah, reading through these comments I can see some real words of wisdom. I know that when I am stressed about something whether it be good or bad stress, I really have trouble focusing so I have learned to do what I can and then leave the rest until later. If you want to piece then piece, there is no room for "should be doing" in our quilting lives since we are trying to be creative. Sure there are deadlines (such as preparing to give a lecture) but I am sure you will be ready for that and I just wish I could be at your first presentation. You will be great!

  21. This a very interesting post and comment thread. If your brain wants to plan a new top, it seems to me that it's okay to let the creativity flow and plan it. You can always come back to the idea. I agree with the statement that you may be trying to avoid something that is uncomfortable. I find that the comfort of piecing helps to free my mind to work through all kinds of issues. You'll work it out, I know it.

    Thanks for letting us work through it with you.

  22. I have so many projects in progress all the time. I do finish projects now and again, but I think we all have our own "favorite" part of the whole quilting/piecing process. Mine, I'm afraid, is choosing fabrics for a particular project and seeing how they mesh together, be it in the piecing, or the excitement of finding the perfect fabric for a particular applique motif. I love learning new techniques too, so once I get to where I can see how the project is coming together or the technique is mastered, I'm ready for something new. Each day I decide what to work on, be it something in progress or something else. Sometimes I want the satisfaction of a quick project that can be completed in a weekend. Sometimes I feel uninspired and that is when I work on something that already has a plan, like something that is already in progress. I don't want to feel any stress when doing what I love and that gives me so much pleasure. As long as I am a happier person, my family is happy too! I love your blog. Thank you for sharing so much with the world.

  23. It is great to know we aren't alone in what we struggle with. There has been some tremendous insights in these comments. We live and we learn and we stall and we usually move on forward, each in our own way. It is pieces of advice and threads of common sense from our sisters as we share.

  24. Sometimes I piece, just for the stress relief because I can totally concentrate on it, even though I know I should be quilting. Saying that, I hope to quilt a bunch of stuff that's hanging in the closet waiting to be quilted and am also trying not to start any new projects. Good luck. Lane


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